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Welcome to the Coaching Studio Podcast

This podcast features fun, lively conversations with masterful coaches who are creating an impact. Get to know them, their journey into coaching, and discover what wisdom they would offer you about being a better coach.

Let’s go!

the Coaching Studio Guest

I am very excited to welcome Jo Lanigan, MCC to the Coaching Studio Podcast.

Quick Links from Episode
You can find out more about Coach Masters Academy and Jo’s work
You can find Jo on LinkedIn

Credits

  • Host: Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC
  • Music: Frolic by Harrison Amer
  • Production Editing: Lyssa deHart
  • Social Media and Communications: Michele Logan

About This Episode

Read the transcript of this episode of the Coaching Studio Podcast:

Lyssa

Hello, Lyssa deHart here and welcome to the coaching studio. I am really excited to introduce my guest today, Jo Lanigan, she is an MCC with the International Coach Federation, She is also an international trainer and coach. Her passion is helping people to achieve optimum success within their careers and personal lives. She is highly dedicated to training professional coaches, leaders, and managers in order to create sustainable results for clients and organization’s Jo is actively involved in upholding the values and ethics of the International Coach Federation in order to maintain the professionalism and integrity of the coaching profession. She is the director of training for Australia and New Zealand with Coach Masters Academy, which is an international coach training academy practicing in 40 countries. Jo started off life as an actress in New York City shifted into real estate and along the way she met a gorgeous Kiwi, fell in love with his accent, and moved to New Zealand where she’s happily been living since 1987 with her husband. She now has a sweet dog, Annie, the Chihuahua who thinks she’s a Golden Retriever surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Jo welcome, Welcome, welcome to the Coaching Studio.

Jo

Thank you Lyssa, I’m so happy to be here. Really looking forward to spending time with you.

Lyssa

Well, I am very much excited to hear about this journey that you’ve been on in your own life. I mean there’s a transition from Acting, to Real Estate, huge transition in your life to New Zealand. And then navigating your way into coaching? What is, what are the sort of, how did you do that? I guess that’s the bottom line question.

Jo

Well, I started out acting at a young age. um I worked in New York City, I worked around the country, but as many people will know with actors and actresses in new york, a lot of them become waitresses. And I just, I just needed to redirect my life so that I could make some money. So I got into real estate and I never thought that I could do anything or would love anything other than acting. So I went into real estate and I loved it, I loved it. Um I was in real estate when um in New York when interest rates were 18%. And I didn’t know what an interest rate was, so I was selling everything um anyway, I um I met my husband. And um he was, he was the loveliest man and back in the 80s, it was very much a feminist era and my husband was just so, I don’t know, just so loving and kind and caring and um and I fell in love with him. And so we had our first child in New York City and then we, we moved out of New York City and I just did not like living in the suburbs and I said if we’re going to move out of New York City, we might as well move to New Zealand, so um and that’s obviously where he’s from, so we moved to New Zealand and um had another child there and then um we’re here because that’s where I am now um and brought up the kids for a while. Then got back into real estate for 11 years with a very high-quality company here in New Zealand. And um one and so this is kind of leading and how I got into coaching. So one day we had our monthly meeting in real estate where all the offices came together and we had this speaker come in and she was this beautiful coach who was in her 30s, and my daughter at the time was I think she was probably 20, and I looked at this woman who was a coach and I thought I could so see Sarah our daughter being a coach. So she was at University of the time, I’m studying marketing and I think it was marketing. Anyway, I went home and I said Sarah you would be such a great coach. Why don’t you look into this. Anyway, she did and she used to come home and practice on us. Um and she, she was just, it just fit her perfectly. And the trainer um of her school where we were living up in Auckland, said, “Well I hear you’re moving to another city in New Zealand, would you open up a school there? ” And and so she did now as that was all happening one day I was at Pilates and thought I think I’m going to do this coach training. And I was working 24/7 in my real estate business, it was insanity. So I thought, well I’m gonna go do this coach training that my daughter had done. And if nothing comes of it, it doesn’t matter, I’ll just go and and um you know, it might help my clients me work with my clients, it’ll help me personally, it will help with family. So I realized that I had, you know, before I started doing this coach training, that I had actually been mentoring my colleagues, I thought I was coaching my colleagues. But I was actually mentoring them. So I did the coach training and for about, and I think that was in 2012, I wasn’t ready to leave real estate, but I continued to coach my colleagues and also coach clients while I was still in real estate. And then I decided it was time to give up real estate, for the good of my health, nothing against real estate, but it was pretty full-on. Um for the, for my health, for my husband, and my relationship. And so I went to where we, we decided that we were going to move to where our daughter was. Um she had her training school and I started training with her as one of the trainers. Now am I going on too long here?

Lyssa

I think I definitely have a question, which is, and then this is one of the things that I find is so interesting, because people come from such varied backgrounds into coaching. And I’m curious what the intersection for you because you’re doing real estate, which is one sort of relationship. But you’re shifting into coaching, you’re having this clarity of I’ve been mentoring people. What is that shift as you move from mentoring your colleagues to coaching? What shifted for you?

Jo

Well, I realized that with the mentoring, I was um I was advising. I was um feeling that I knew more [mm hmm]. Then my colleagues um and I was basically teaching them. which is not what coaching is and what the shift was was me um really having a partnership. Going as a coach, whether it was with, you know, and and really believing that they had the answers.

Lyssa

You know, it’s interesting Jo as you were talking, you know, you’re like, you kind of move your hands one up, one down and that’s sort of like expert to novice sort of dynamic that’s going on. And the telling and advising and guiding and educating into being in partnership. As you think about partnership in coaching and you’re just thinking about talking to one of your students in one of your courses, How do you help them understand what that partnership is?

Jo

Well, one of the things that we do is um we talk about coaching is like a dance and if you’re trying to do the salsa and your client is trying to do the rumba it’s not going to work. You’ve got to really feel their flow and um partner with them to not take the lead and believe that they know the dance.

Lyssa

Yeah. That is such an interesting transformation though as a mindset right to go from that. I don’t know. I’m going to just use the language that I’m familiar with which is sort of this ego state of knowing and expertise. Into letting go so that you can be with and partner and be led by this your client. And and you know, and I don’t know maybe this is something that shows up for you also with the people that you’re working with, that sense of their hiring me because I’m a coach and I’m gonna “help them, ” right? And that that transition from that moving from helpful to useful. You know, I’m always fascinated by how people do that. You know and how you did that because you were an expert in real estate, right? And and and being helpful.

Jo

Yeah. Yeah. And I love helping and I think everyone in this profession loves to help. And I think for me the thing that the thing that I have had to let go of is being in control. [Ah] and I I love being or loved being in control. Um And I think the way that I’ve done that use by slowing down, by pausing a lot, and trusting in myself, that if I give myself time that I actually know the answers in terms of the questioning. [Yeah. ] Um and by me slowing down and becoming more reflective. I’m more vulnerable and then my client can be, can be more vulnerable as well.

Lyssa

Yeah, yeah. Really creating that safe space by demonstrating the vulnerability piece. I think I mean it’s such a fine line as people learn to navigate what it means to let go. And and I don’t know, I mean what my experience for my own self in my own growth as an MCC, just letting go. I mean it really resonates for me because I think for myself that was really the the biggest part of the journey. Was the letting go piece the letting go of what I knew the letting go of needing to share all my expertise, everything that I knew. And in in honor of really being led by the client holding the container. Like I get to be the expert of the curiosity because I get to see it from outside-in right? But but really letting go of the need to direct people and to your earlier word advised people. What do you think is something that like new coaches really need to understand about coaching or maybe even the general public needs to understand about coaching. That’s maybe still a misconception.

Jo

Um I just can I just and I’m not sure whether this will feed into what you’re asking, but something that came to my mind when just talking now about letting go and giving up that control um is courage. I think the biggest thing as a coach is to have that courage to “not know” where the conversation is going to go. Yeah, and just to be to be brave and to trust in yourself that it’s okay. That even though we don’t know where it’s going to go, it’s okay, we can we can trust that it will go where it’s meant to go.

Lyssa

Yeah, you know, and and along that line I remember hearing a coach say once, you know, um as you get, you know, as you continue to practice being a coach and really sitting into entrusting the process that you’ll ask questions that you the goal is to ask questions, you can’t possibly know the answer to right?

Jo

Yeah, yeah, so true. And and also I think again, getting back to the pause, trusting that that right question will come um and just trusting that it is that it is there. I heard um I heard an MCC say one time, you know, “Questions are like fish that are popping up out of the water and if it’s the wrong fish well it’s okay, there’s more fish that are going to come. “.

Lyssa

I l ove that metaphor because we love the little jumping fish right? And I think it also speaks to and I mean maybe this is something you can also share your perspective on is that I think we get into a performance mode sometimes as early in our coaching where we want to do it right. And so we end up thinking too hard about the question versus really being present and actively listening to the client so that we can just leverage the brilliance that comes out of their mouth often.

Jo

Yes, Yes. Yeah. Um and again, I think it goes back to that trust within. Um I’ll just give an example of, I was mentoring someone yesterday. And she started out having to, such a perfectionist. Everything had to be right. And just the growth that I’ve seen in her in letting go and not having to be perfect. And and not have the perfect performance. Um it’s just so beautiful to see when newer coaches can say, hey, it’s okay, I don’t have to be perfect. But just to be so present with their client that they create this bubble. And they, they forget about the next question that they’re just so present with them. And as you said, just hearing the magnificence of what comes from the client.

Lyssa

Yeah. You know, I think that’s such a crucial piece at the coaching arc of development is that we, we let go of the performance in lieu of being really present and and available, fully available, to listening to what’s being said.

Jo

Yeah, mm hmm.

Lyssa

So now I’m going to ask you about what is a misconception that you think many coaches have or that the public even has about coaching?

Jo

Well, I think, you know, people come to coach is wanting the answers. Wanting the coach to fix the problem or come up with the solution. And that’s not what it’s about. You know, we really, I think one of the things that is said within the ICF is that we believe that our clients are whole and creative and resourceful. And they can come up with their own strategies and their own solutions if if we as the coach get out of the way. Yeah. Um, and that we’re not here to fix it or to or to solve it. Um, and that takes courage and that takes discipline on the part of the coach and it takes trust on the part of the client.

Lyssa

And courage Also. I would.

Jo

Absolutely, yeah.

Lyssa

But it is it’s really it’s transformative in the sense that you, you know, nobody can tell you what you need to do in these life choices, right? Like I mean, if somebody does and it doesn’t work out, the agency of you as an individual is lost because it’s like, well Jo made me do it. Versus I chose this consciously. I didn’t know it was going to have a good outcome or a bad outcome, but I was willing to take a risk for myself based on all this information and the ownership that comes from, that is really profound and.

Jo

And I think, sorry, you go on

Lyssa

no, no, really, you go,

Jo

well, I was, I was just going to say that, I think, you know, if I look at myself and if somebody tells me what to do in my mind, I’m saying don’t tell me what to do. I’m going to go do the opposite. Or if I was another type of personality, as you said, well, you know, we’ll Lyssa, told me do it, you know, told me to do it. So, hey, I’m not taking any responsibility. Yeah. So yeah, it’s so, it’s interesting if we can look at ourselves to see how we respond or react, then we can understand how important it is not to do it.

Lyssa

Exactly. And I mean, and I think it really speaks, you know, I know there’s often a conversation around, do people really need to have training in order to be a coach. And I have a sense of what I’m making an assumption here, so please correct me if I’m wrong. But I have a sense of where you may be coming from on that. But I know for myself I couldn’t have become a really useful coach, if I hadn’t gotten training on how to shift the way that I was listening, shift the way that I was asking questions, the type of inquiry that I was inviting the client towards. So I mean what I mean, I know you work at a coaching school. And so I’m just curious when you hear people say, I don’t really need to get coach training. I already, I was born this way. Um what is your sort of response to that?

Jo

Well, I can tell you what our students say after they’ve done the training. We have we have people who have been coaches for 15 years and after they finished the training, they say, oh my gosh, I wasn’t coaching. I didn’t realize. So it’s so important to to have the training because what we think of as coaching is generally not coaching. Um, and and also Lyssa I think that what also happens when you do get trained as a coach, is that you also, there’s a parallel process that happens at the same time in that you’re not only learning how to coach, but you’re, the personal growth that happens is so important and so enormous and the transformation that happens. [Yeah] The more, you know, the more we grow as people, the better coaches we are, You know, and I even, and I think that that’s why it’s so important as coaches that we also get coached.

Lyssa

Yes.

Jo

To, to continue our personal growth because our personal growth is is as important as the process of, of coaching.

Lyssa

Yeah, I was just, I had a conversation with somebody else and they were reminding me of the quote, you know, “How you do one thing, is how you do everything” right? And so I think there’s that sense of, you know, what is that personal journey of reflection that you’re doing so that you can choose how you’re going to do the one thing or all things. Yeah, it really leads me into my next question, like, what have you noticed for yourself as that personal growth that came for you through your own coaching development journey?

Jo

Well, as I said, I I was, I mean I don’t like to say it, but I mean I can say it, I was truly a real control freak. And and I have, I’ve really learned to give it up and give that away um and replace that with just absolute respect for other people um and that I don’t have the answers and I end, other people have the answers and just to stop when I feel that control coming coming in um to stop and really step back. Um Yeah, yeah, so that’s, I think, I think for me that’s been the biggest shift for me is giving up control and replacing that with respect.

Lyssa

Yeah, it’s almost like I’m just seeing like the softening that happens is you talk about chad shift Yeah. Big softening. Big softening, Yeah, Yeah, wonderful. What let’s see here, when, when you think about the impact of training, like what is it around training that has been really feeding your soul and keeping your passion alive for coaching?

Jo

um Well, I mean from a from a personal point of view, it’s a little bit, there’s a little bit of performance in there. And so it feeds my acting part. Um you know, I say to my colleagues, oh, I’m just kind of there for the light entertainment. Not really, but… Um but how can you ask me the question again?

Lyssa

I’m just, I’m just curious because I think so, here’s an assumption that I’m making, based on my own experience, but I think that training people to be coaches really keeps us in the thick of the coaching and and the sort of the best practices of coaching. And I’m just curious for you what your experiences as you are in that space of really sharing with people a new way of being, what that that does for you and how it keeps your passion in coaching? And I know you had talked about for sustainable changes and optimal success, you know.

Jo

I think, you know, it’s sort of like when we coach our clients, we see just a transformation and uh and it it to me it just touches my heart and I, and I see that with our students, you know, that the growth that goes on with them. um From how they coach to who they are, it really touches my heart. I didn’t get a little teary. Yeah, so I’m not sure if that answers the question?

Lyssa

I think it does. I mean, I mean, you can, the emotion that shows up, it really speaks to just you know, the genuine appreciation of watching somebody else come into their own being.

Jo

Yeah, yeah. And you know, I remember somebody who’s just started our training um he was saying that one of his colleagues had just done the training, you know, and he said the the transformation that he had seen in him in six in the last six months, he said that’s what made him want to do the training. [mm] You know, just yeah, so it’s it’s really that transformation and I think the the ripple effect that it causes for people to be able to go out and you know, we talk about Um changing, changing lives one conversation at a time. Yeah.

Lyssa

Yeah. And I really do agree with the ripple effect, I mean I think, you know, it’s interesting, I was in a conversation earlier today and it was around really cultivating trust and safety. And that the need that people have to really be heard. And I think sometimes coaches confused themselves with google. Like I could just google it in, you know, right? Like you’re not Google, you don’t need to be the expert on everything, you don’t need to be the instant resource. You don’t need to be there to help somebody organize their schedule. Like there’s a ton of apps for that, but what’s getting in the way of somebody looking up the app or applying a technique or strategy in their own life? like that’s the far more important question and it’s a question Google can’t answer for them. And so I really love hearing those transformational experiences where people are experiencing you differently because you’re not showing up, you know, kind of to the earlier statement of the control freak, right? There’s a hard edge to a control freak, right? There’s a rightness and wrongness. It needs to be done certain ways. I know the way, to a softening and letting go and there’s a million different ways to be with whatever the with is and God, what would shift in the world if more people, whether they wanted to be coaches or not really invited that experience into their lives?

Jo

Yeah. Yeah. And I and I think, you know, even even as an MCC it’s a constant, it’s a constant journey within my own personal life to continue to be mm hmm, mm You know? Yeah, I mean, when do we become the best version of ourselves? You know? I don’t think we ever do. It’s just a it’s a journey. Yeah.

Lyssa

I definitely think that capacity to laugh though in that moment is a great.

Jo

Exactly.

Lyssa

Not [exactly] too seriously not taking MCC too seriously. Just just really being present to our own journey and to be willing to be with others on theirs. This has been delightful. What are you up to lately? What um what would you like to share with the audience about uh about what you’re up to?

Jo

Up to in terms of?

Lyssa

Coaching in the world.

Jo

Coaching Yeah. Um Well um we are very busy with our training and um just loving it. We’ve we’ve just got a new a new training that’s just started online. Um And Covid has changed a lot you know everything used to be face to face in in new Zealand. We’ve kinda for them we’ve we’ve got it under control. So we can do face to face trainings. We don’t have to wear masks. We you know But we also you know have had to really pivot to online. So we have a training now that’s got 45 people from 11 different countries. And the beauty of that is people learning so much from each other from different cultures and the inclusion and it is people are loving that they are loving that. Um, So and then I’m doing a lot of mentoring for people towards their ACC and their PCC. I’ve obviously got my wonderful coaching clients that I absolutely love to see the growth and the transformation in them. Um And I have a wonderful wonderful marriage um We’re having the 39th anniversary of our first date

Lyssa

wow Congratulations

Jo

was in New York. Um And we we just have a new granddaughter that’s just been born. So our our kids live you know either one lives 20 minutes away and the other lives almost three hours away so we we just get lots of family time. I love exercise. Um yeah, just, yeah, just having a lot of fun.

Lyssa

Yeah, that’s so wonderful. Well, I’ll definitely be putting a link in the information below the podcast. So people can go and see the school and Jo. Thank you so much for your time today. I really thank you.

Jo

Thank you Lyssa.

Lyssa

I appreciate getting to you know, you a bit better.

Jo

Thank you so much, and thanks for your time and for asking me along. Thank you.

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Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Lyssa deHart, LICSW, MCC

Host

Lyssa deHart ditched her therapy practice to become a Leadership Confidence Coach. Along the way she discovered a passion for professional coaching and wanted to find ways to share that passion with the world. Come join her in discovering and meeting some of the most amazing professional coaches on the planet. Her goal is to inspire coaches. Lyssa is the author of StoryJacking: Change Your Dialogue, Transform Your Life. She is an ICF PCC Assessor, Certified Mentor Coach, and budding Coach SuperVisor. Lyssa uses her understanding of the ICF Core Competencies, combined with her knowledge of Neuroscience, to work with people to become extraordinary professional coaches. Let's Go!

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